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New train service linking Wareham with Swanage

Credit: ITV Meridian

It's the first regular train service to link Wareham with Swanage, in Dorset, in 45 years.

Civic dignitaries joined rail enthusiasts today for the launch of the new service which marks the the culmination of years of campaigning and hard work.

Much of the branch line was torn up after British Rail closed the route in 1972 but it has gradually been rebuilt and improved and now represents an amazing dream come true.

As Richard Slee reports.

Richard spoke to Peter Sills, Colin Stone and Peter Frost, all railway volunteers. He also spoke to Director of Project Wareham Mark Woolley.

VIDEO: Dorset lifeboat captures moment a pod of dolphins swims past during a rescue

Both Swanage lifeboats were called out on Monday to a yacht which had broken down in Durlston Bay.

Whilst there they were joined by a pod of dolphins. Crewman Andy Lyons captured the moment on camera:


Body of climber found in Swanage identified

The 26-year-old's body was found in water yesterday Credit: ITV Meridian

The body of a climber who went missing in Swanage has been identified as 26-year-old Liam Day from Southampton.

Mr Day was reported missing on 15 June when he didn't come home from a climbing trip. His body was found in the water off St Alban’s Head near Swanage yesterday.

His next of kin have been informed and an inquest will be opened after a post mortem examination has taken place. Officers say his death is not being treated as suspicious.

Can you help find missing John from Dorset?

Search for missing man from Swanage Credit: Dorset Police

Dorset Police are appealing for the public's help to find a missing electrician who was last seen yesterday morning.

Forty-eight-year-old John Wormald from Argyle Road in Swanage, was last seen at an address in Battlemead at 11.15am Wednesday 2 March 2016. Officers say they are becoming increasing for his welfare.

“I understand that John has been very upset recently and his family are concerned that he may come to harm.

“He is a self-employed electrician and drives a white Vauxhall Vivaro van with the registration HG05 XWY. The van has ‘John Wormald Electrical’ written on the side.”

“I’d urge John to contact us at the earliest opportunity - we simply want to know that you are safe and well.”

– Chief Inspector Bob Acaster, Dorset Police

Officers have since located John's van in the Wareham area, but he still hasn't been found.

Concerns for missing man who 'just went for a walk'

Have you seen Paul Elleray? Credit: Dorset Police

Officers from Dorset Police say they are concerned for the welfare of 51-year-old Paul Elleray from Swanage who went missing from his home on Victoria Avenue at around 6.30pm on Friday 19th February.

He is five feet six inches tall with grey hair. He was last seen wearing a navy blue jacket and black and grey trousers.

"We are becoming increasingly concerned for Paul’s welfare. He was last seen by his family yesterday and told them he was going for a walk. His disappearance is completely out of character.

“I would ask that anyone who sees Paul contacts police urgently, his family is very worried about him and want to know that he is safe.”

– Chief Inspector Steve White, Dorset Police

Anyone with information about Paul’s whereabouts should call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 20:96.


RNLI volunteer awarded in Queen's Birthday honours

Captain Neil Hardy has been awarded an MBE Credit: RNLI

An RNLI volunteer from Swanage has been recognised with an MBE on the Queen’s 2015 Birthday Honours list.

Captain Neil Hardy, 65, is a volunteer who has dedicated 25 years of his life to the overall running of Swanage Lifeboat Station.

He was a natural candidate to take on the important role of Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) a mere three years after joining. Neil took this role when the station was issued with their new Mersey class lifeboat; a particularly busy and demanding time for all concerned.

Neil has responsibility for a volunteer operational crew of over 40, and one of the RNLI's busiest stations.

"I am accepting this award on behalf of everyone at Swanage RNLI and the Swanage community, who have always supported the station and volunteers and who have made the work I do as a volunteer easy. I couldn’t have achieved all that I have without their help, and certainly not without the support of my wife Maggie."

– Neil Hardy

"Neil has been described by others as a leading light and his hands-on approach and ability to inspire others have helped the station and volunteer fundraising team achieve their fundraising target towards the new lifeboat station. He is a truly selfless individual, balancing his commitments to the RNLI with a busy family life, who unfortunately at times have had their milestone occasions interrupted by a call from the RNLI. Neil is an individual that never puts himself in the limelight but is fulfilled by the accomplishments of others."

– Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive

Rescue mission launched for diver off Dorset coast

Decision due on rescue operation for diver in Dorset Credit: Bing

A search for a diver who failed to resurface after an expedition off the Dorset coast was suspended overnight.

Lifeboats from Poole and Swanage and two search and rescue helicopters were launched in the rescue mission on Sunday evening. A decision will be made this morning in conjunction with Dorset Police and other organisations on the next steps for today.

Diver failed to resurface off the Dorset coast Credit: Bing

Lucky escape for puppy after Dorset cliff fall

There's a myth that cats are supposed to have nine lives - but this puppy in Swanage was certainly looking to challenge that.

Molly the dog escaped unscathed despite falling nearly 100ft over Old Harry Rocks in Dorset.

Swanage Coastguard rescue team, Ian and Brian, with Molly Credit: MCA

The Coastguard was called to rescue the Norfolk terrier after her owners reported she had fallen from the cliffs.

On arrival, crews found the owner and about 100 people looking over the cliffs.

Brian, from Swanage Coastguard, keeping an eye on Molly until lifeboat crews arrived Credit: MCA

Crews say she luckily landed softly from the fall - where Poole RNLI safely recovered the dog to the boat. Last night the owners of Molly wrote to thank everyone involved in Molly's rescue.

They say they are fully aware they should have had Molly on the lead and they have joined a growing number of owners who have forgotten the rule.

Molly safely back on solid ground - much to her owner's relief Credit: MCA
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